[Advaita-l] Purusamedha

Satish Arigela satisharigela at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 20 11:55:35 CDT 2009

This is from an acquaintance.
Much like the cow sacrifice and horse sacrifice, which people have
tried to explain away as not implying a real slaying, the human
sacrifice has also been denied. However, there is really no point being
coy about our past, based on modern notions and standards.
The puruSha medha was a rare rite, as it finds very infrequent
mention in Indic literature. Typically, it was a exaggeration of the
ashvamedha that was occasionally conducted by victorious kings. In the
puruSha medha rite the rival king was captured and brought as prisoner
by the sacrificing king. The rite lasted a whole year. At the end of it
he was smothered and sacrificed by the use of the puruSha hymn. Along
with him, his animals may also be sacrificed and immolated as
offerings. The pUru king, ayutanAyi is said to have performed the
puruSha medha rite with his enemies. In many ways this gory rite was
reminiscent of the rite of Julius Caesar when he slew some detractors
of his along with the sacrificial horse. The puruSha medha may have
been seen as a more formal mode of eliminating ones foes in the context
of a pious ritual, as compared to a bland execution.


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